American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

Juicing Is Not All Juicy

apples-39-sig-sm72Juicing has become a popular health trend in the last few years. The term “juicing” or “juice cleanse” usually refers to a period of 3-10 days when a person’s diet consists mainly of fruit and vegetable juices. It is widely marketed as providing health benefits, including weight loss, flushing toxins from the body, and increasing energy. Up to now there is no strong scientific evidence to support these benefits as compared with eating fruits and vegetables. However, the gospel of juicing is here to stay, mostly through social media. Juicing is clearly an understudied phenomenon in the legitimate medical world. Is it possible that juicing is harmful? Up to now, there have been no reports of juicing-induced damage, until this issue of The American Journal of Medicine, which reports a case of oxalate nephropathy due to 6 weeks of a juicing fast.1

For this case report, we are grateful to the patient who kept detailed records of his food consumption. For over 6 weeks, he had taken a daily average of 1260 mg oxalate from beets, collard greens, kiwi, parsley, spinach, and soy products, which are considered a healthy diet and commonly consumed by people practicing juicing. Other co-factors include high vitamin C intake (2 g from supplementary vitamin C and about 0.5 g from juice), low calcium intake, and chronic kidney disease stage 3 with an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 48 mL/min. He had acute renal failure with a high serum oxalate level and required temporary hemodialysis. Fortunately, he recovered his kidney function partially, but had a loss of glomerular filtration rate by 14 mL/min due to the juicing program.1

Oxalate is a well-known nephrotoxin and is rich in certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

To read this article in its entirety, please visit our website.

– Yeong-Hau Lien, MD, PhD

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Related Article:

Oxalate Nephropathy Due to ‘Juicing’: Case Report and Review

Comments are closed.